New year has always been a time for new starts, good intentions and resolutions to improve your life, and there never has been a better time to try a vegan diet, be a little bit healthier in your food choices or support loved ones who follow a vegan and vegetarian diet. I’ve been vegan for nine years, and even still, my family would struggle to feel confident about providing me with a delicious meal, but Rebecca Burnett of Central Market Tours Adelaide can definitely help you out with this if you happen to visit this lovely southern Australian city.
Adelaide is famous for its Central Market, filled to the brim with local and varied foods from enthusiastic producers, all passionate about their wares. This love is understandable with such tasty fruit, vegetables, breads and much more on offer. Because of so much to show off, Central Market Tours have been running for thirteen years, presenting the best of what’s on offer to visitors and locals in this green and leafy city. However it was when Rebecca, part of the team who ran the Adelaide Vegan Festival last year and a dedicated vegan herself, started working for the tours, that the idea of a vegan food tour began. She realised there were a lot of people interested in learning more about this diet or or wanted support with ideas of ingredient replacements because of allergies or intolerances. With the fantastic foods for sale at the market, and also her knowledge of living a daily cruelty-free lifestyle, she was the one to help people with this and so the Vegan Discovery Food Tour was born in November 2015.
We met in the market surrounded by the bustle and excitement of a busy Saturday morning and started our walk through the stalls. People were enjoying breakfast and coffee around us, and the smell of the ground beans and fresh bread was everywhere. With live music playing in the background and a smoothie in hand from Goodies and Grains, we started to explore this interesting space.
Rebecca explained about the history of the market, before introducing me to some of the shopkeepers. I don’t want to give away all her secrets before you get a chance to go on the tour yourself, but she was very knowledgeable about why the individual stalls on the market make Adelaide a unique place. Apparently it’s the biggest covered market in the Southern Hemisphere which is reason enough to visit it if you love food like I do. There’s certainly a lot of choice for foods to fill your shopping basket!
One of the best things about this tour are the tastes and samples along the way. Whether you are a new vegan, a person looking for healthier options, or a family or friend who wants to support a loved one in their vegetarian lifestyle choice Rebecca will be able to give tips on how to use ingredients to their best and furthermore new, imaginative ideas for old favourites. One of the most intimidating things is knowing how to make things taste good or cook something different but Rebecca takes away this anxiety with good advice and a willingness to support and answer questions. Very passionate about the produce that South Australia has to offer, we moved around certain stalls, trying, tasting and chatting about what we could make with the ingredients. Even as an experienced and long term vegan I even discovered new tastes at Jagger Fine Foods; I will certainly be back for the pomegrante and walnut dip and the potato and leek skordallia was incredible. You have to go and try them! Freshly baked breads, ripe fruits and veggies also featured as well as samples from some of stalls making hot meals and snacks.
The tour has also been put together with nutrition in mind and Rebecca was able to give some information about the best food combinations in order to get enough iron. Often new veggies and vegans are very concerned about where to get enough protein from and what will give them a balanced diet. Another bonus, especially if you are new or worried you’re not getting the right vitamins and minerals.
The tour ended in the light and airy market kitchen above the stall space. In the last half hour Rebecca demonstrated how to make a simple, yet tasty vegan meal using easily available ingredients gathered on our walk during the morning. We were able to sample what was made and as we left were handed a goodie bag full of tips, a recipe card, a simple vegan meal to make and some discount slips for vegan friendly shops and cafes. In my vegan adventures eating out has often been a great way of discovering new flavours and tastes and it seems like Adelaide has a lot to offer in terms of options and ideas.
I would really recommend this tour if you are starting out as vegan or veggie (or vego as everyone says in Australia!), are interested in food and wanting more healthy meal ideas or are wanting to support a vegan or veggie family member. Rebecca was friendly, helpful and informative throughout the morning, we tried food samples, discussed recipes and left with treats in hand! What more could you want?
You can also catch up with Rebecca on her personal blog at http://www.mygreentongue.com